Anti-biotech activists showed their true colors in Scotland last week, when 70 protestors trampled a field of genetically improved crops. “The protest was billed as a fun demonstration but as the afternoon wore on the protesters got down to the serious business,” said one of the vandals. Meanwhile in Rome, Jose Bove, who led attacks on a field of genetically improved rice and who rallied radical activists to rip apart a restaurant in 1999, led an anti-biotech mob in a protest calling for “food sovereignty” and an end to “globalization.”
“It is unacceptable that 840 million people are dying of hunger,” says Bove. He’s right — but he’s a large part of the problem.
Former U.S. senators George McGovern and Rudy Boschwitz write in a commentary: “Our only hope of staving off a global pandemic of starvation and chronic hunger in the first half of this new century is to revive the Green Revolution that saved an estimated 1 billion lives in Asia, Africa and Latin America in the ’60s and ’70s. Thanks to breathtaking advances in high-yield farming, soil conservation and genetically enhanced seeds, the world has the right weapons in its humanitarian arsenal. The only question remaining is, does it have the will?
“Higher-yield research in biology, ecology, chemistry and the relatively new field of biotechnology is the only way to pull the world’s downtrodden masses — the 2 billion or so who go to bed hungry every night — back from the brink and onto the path toward a better life… Bio-food is the most efficient way of delivering daily doses of key nutrients and vitamins not found in the diets of millions of malnourished children and adults… The question is not whether we can afford to make this investment — the real question should be whether we can afford not to?”